Pastor Dennis Van Kampen was forced to issue an apology after writing a narrative about hate-filled Trump supporters victimizing poor homeless minorities outside of a Grand Rapids rally last month.
“As an organization dedicated to helping homeless and disadvantaged individuals and families, we were all saddened by these events. It was not my intention to make a political statement. I unfairly painted the crowd with a broad brush, and I apologize,” Van Kampen wrote.
“Our staff and leadership remain focused on demonstrating the compassion of Jesus Christ to our neighbors experiencing homelessness in our community – just as we have been doing for more than a century,” he added.
Van Kampen had previously claimed that he was “heartbroken, angry and ashamed” by the “red hats and white men as far as the eye could see.” He additionally accused Trump supporters of being ungodly, shouting racial slurs, and even committing a hate crime against a young black man.
Van Kampen’s original sanctimonious screed can be seen in full here:
After he was blasted by dozens of people throughout ultra-conservative West Michigan for making his generalizing post, Van Kampen took it down hours after it was written.
“When the responses to my Facebook post started to involve the work of Mel Trotter Ministries, I chose to take down my post to stop that from escalating,” Van Kampen wrote.
In Van Kampen’s apology, he never denied that any of the events he described actually took place. Another telling sentence in his apology indicates that Van Kampen was not even around at Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids on the day of the Trump rally.
“The comments I made on my personal Facebook page on March 28 were in response to events witnessed that day by our Mel Trotter Ministries staff outside our facility,” Van Kampen wrote.
In a phone call, Van Kampen admitted that he was not around at the facility on the day of the incident. He wrote his article based on second-hand information that was told to him by his staffers.
There was no police report filed and no hard evidence can be produced showing that any sort of scuffle ever occurred.
A video report issued by Kaitlin Bennett of Liberty Hangout shows the opposite of the scene that Van Kampen described outside of the Trump rally in Grand Rapids. The anti-Trump agitators were the ones inciting confrontation, not the other way around.
Van Kampen was quick to apologize in an attempt to avoid being the next Jussie Smollett, but Mel Trotter Ministries will not regain its lost respect and legitimacy until this supposed hate incident can be officially verified or disavowed.
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